Nick Cave delivered a solo piano version of T. Rex’s “Cosmic Dancer” — which he recently recorded for the Hal Willner-curated tribute comp Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T. Rex — on Wednesday’s Late Late Show With James Corden.
While Cave’s version of “Cosmic Dancer” on Angelheaded Hipster features fuller instrumentation and rich orchestration similar to the original Electric Warrior song, his Corden performance was stripped-down and piano-only in the style of Idiot Prayer, the solo livestream-turned-concert film and live album that Cave will release in November.
Out September 4th, Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T. Rex features renditions of 26 songs Bolan recorded between 1968 and 1977, including Cave’s “Cosmic Dancer,” U2 and Elton John’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On),” Joan Jett covering “Jeepster,” Lucinda Williams doing “Life’s a Gas” and Kesha’s “Children of the Revolution.”
The compilation was curated and produced by the late Hal Willner, who died in April from complications related to Covid-19. “There’s no one to replace him,” Todd Rundgren, another AngelHeaded Hipster contributor, told Rolling Stone of Willner. “We’re not going to have anyone who is able to do what he did — thinking the way did, building relationships with musicians and building that level of trust and making them go out on the tightrope and fulfill his crazy ideas. He was always fully aware that failure is on one shoulder and success is on the other. And if there wasn’t the possibility of failure, then there wouldn’t be the same possibilities for fun.”